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Tourism Award winners announced at celebratory event

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 4:16 PST, Fri December 2, 2022

Earlier this week, the winners of the inaugural Richmond EPIC Tourism Awards were announced at Tourism Richmond’s year-end celebration.

The evening was an opportunity for members of Richmond’s tourism industry to connect and recognize the achievements of tourism businesses across the city over the past year. Tourism Richmond chief executive officer Nancy Small and board chair Yannick Simovich expressed their pride in Richmond’s tourism businesses and excitement for what the industry will achieve in 2023. 

“On behalf of the City of Richmond, it is my pleasure to celebrate Richmond’s tourism businesses and the first-ever EPIC Tourism Award winners,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “The people and businesses that comprise Richmond’s tourism industry help to make Richmond a unique and vibrant city.”

The Richmond EPIC Tourism Awards comprise four categories, named after Tourism Richmond’s “EPIC” values: excellence, passion, integrity, and collaboration, with applications open to all tourism businesses in Richmond.

“It’s fantastic to be able to celebrate what makes Richmond such a compelling place to visit,” said Small. “Tourism Richmond is delighted to be able to meet with our partners in the tourism and hospitality industry, and to recognize the amazing people and businesses with our new EPIC Tourism Awards.”

The winners were:

Excellence Award for Innovation: Richmond Olympic Experience

The Richmond Olympic Experience is the first member of the International Olympic Committee’s Museum Network to be located in North America. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Richmond Olympic Oval staff utilized the closure period to introduce a bold new design and create new exhibits highlighting Canada’s cultural and athletic achievements on the world stage.

Passion Award for Individual Achievement: Nutcha Phanthoupheng of Baan Lao Fine Thai Cuisine 

A first-time chef and restauranteur, and former nurse and cancer researcher, Phanthoupheng opened Baan Lao Fine Thai Cuisine on Steveston’s waterfront in 2021. Championing local produce and supporting the local community, Phanthoupheng has made a significant contribution to the profile of Steveston as a culinary destination.

Integrity Award for Community Impact: Lansdowne Centre

Home to over 120 shops, Lansdowne has long been at the heart of the community in the city centre. In the past year it has put on dozens of community events including planting 40 planter beds that provided fresh produce for more than 1,000 people on low income. The mall also offered free weekly gardening workshops, morning Tai Chi and Yuan Jyi exercise classes six days a week, and a host of fundraisers, local art exhibitions, and job fairs.

Collaboration Award for Collaborative Project or Initiative: Grand Prix of Art

Mark Glavina of Phoenix Art Workshop, in collaboration with the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, has brought together over 100 artists to capture the beauty of Steveston. The 2022 event saw 115 artists placed in 35 locations, in a race against time to draw, sketch, or paint the landscape in half a day. The artwork was displayed, judged, and sold in the Seine Net loft at Britannia Shipyards, putting $10,000 into the pockets of local artists.

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